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133

Prunella Clough

Harbour Still Life

Prunella Clough

Prunella Clough

Harbour Still Life

Harbour Still Life

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Prunella Clough

1919 - 1999

Harbour Still Life


signed Clough (lower right)

oil on canvas

unframed: 40.5 by 30.5cm.; 16 by 12in.

framed: 49.5 by 39cm.; 19½ by 14½in.

Executed circa 1951.


We are grateful to Gerard Hastings, author of Visions and Recollections: Prunella Clough and Keith Vaughan (Pagham Press, 2014), for his kind assistance with the cataloguing of the present work.

The canvas is original. The work appears to be in very good overall condition.


Slight rubbing and abrasion to the framing edges. Surface dirt, specks of matter and a discoloured and uneven layer of varnish. Some areas of very fine craquelure, mainly to the green pigment in the centre left of the composition.


Inspection under UV light reveals a small area of florescence possibly from an uneven varnish to the central left circular component.


The work is presented in a gold-painted wooden frame.


Please email tamsin.goldingyee@sothebys.com if you have any questions regarding the present work.


Please note that Condition 12 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Acquired by Robert and Phyllis Lutyens in London, circa mid 1950s and thence by family descent to the present owner

During the mid-1940s Clough produced a series of still life paintings of objects she had chanced across on the beaches between Lowestoft and Southwold. She assembled pieces of sea-washed driftwood and sun-bleached skeletons of gulls into arrangements hanging from half-rotted sea groins. Later, she became drawn to Lowestoft harbour, which she visited at weekends to draw and paint. What she had learnt concerning the design and formal representation of still life objects associated with beaches, she now applied to the rusting tackle, netting and trade of the fishermen within the habour.


The present work is one of the very last of a group of paintings that she produced inspired by Lowestoft harbour (see Nets and Anchor, 1946; Fishermen with Sprats, 1948; Fishermen in a boat, 1949). It is closely associated with her major canvas Lowestoft Harbour, 1951 which depicts two fishermen weighing a basket of fish suspended from an S-shaped hook. The pale, yellow dial of the scales and the hanging hook both re-appear here, alongside a blue-handled brush of the type used to paint the fishing boats.


Clough’s forms are abstracted and distilled into a tightly designed pictorial essay, filtered through her knowledge of Cubism. The painted surface evokes and celebrates the texture of well-used, practical objects and is built up with roughly applied impastoes and thick deposits of pigment.


Having completed the group of paintings associated with the sea and fishing industry, Clough’s interest moved to the urban and industrial landscape of the city.  


Gerard Hastings.